POLITICS
06/20/2011 04:32 pm ET | Updated Aug 20, 2011

Buddy Roemer At RLC: 'Wall Street Banks Are As Greedy As Ever. No One's Gone To Jail'

Long-shot presidential hopeful and former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer has demonstrated the ability to disappear off the face of the earth for long periods of time, which doesn't help his chances. Of course, when he surfaces, as he did at last week's Republican Leadership Conference, he proves himself to be maybe the only candidate in the race with a substantive, "the-system-is-broken" critique of Washington.

Naturally, campaigning to be Matt Taibbi's favorite Republican (and he echoed a famous Taibbi line in his remarks) doesn't enhance his chances either! But he soldiers on, reminding anyone who will listen that what's wrong with America is that it's been largely sold to powerful corporate interests. ThinkProgress' Lee Fang pulls the meaty part of his RLC pitch:

ROEMER: Finally, I'm a banking CEO who's travelled the world -- India to Argentina, Brazil to Lebanon. I know when we’re being taken advantage of, and I know our own corporate giants have never been more profitable than they are right now because they keep sending these high-priced American jobs overseas. I promise that we’ll change the tax code and the spending policies and stop using your taxpayer money to defend the practice of, and enable the procedures of sending American jobs overseas. Fair trade. Fair trade. Fair trade will be as valued as free...I will run successfully for President, accepting $100 maximum contributions, like I always do. No PAC money, full disclosure. I will attempt to beat the tyranny of the big check. If we don't do this, the change that's necessary to rebuild America will never happen. Because Washington is bought and sold. The status quo will win, they’ll fight me every step of the way. Watch them. The political elite, the politically entrenched never had it so good. America’s hurting, and D.C. is a boom town. Wall Street is near an all time high. Unemployment is at nine and a half, nine point one. The Wall Street banks are as greedy as ever. No one’s gone to jail. Obama is raising a billion dollars for reelection at thirty five thousand a ticket. Obama didn’t cause this recession, he’s just made it permanent.

It's probably pretty telling that Roemer didn't quite get the crowd stirred until he worked in some Obama criticism. That's a pity, because he's pretty much correct! But while there's always cachet in running against Washington elites, the unspoken rule is you're never supposed to let it slip that you know how the game is rigged.

Fang had previously talked with Roemer in more detail on these matters, at which time Roemer said, "You know I’ve got to run against the system. It’s corrupt." Speaking of, if people don't start selecting him as their favorite in polls, he'll never get a chance to say any of these things at a debate.

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